So we get asked a lot… is Bondera really as good as they say?
Long Story Short
Short Story Long(-er)
I’ve heard remarks at tradeshows, listened to contractors talking about it, and even seen posts in an on-line forum questioning whether Bondera Tile Mat Set works and why traditional methods for adhereing tile “should” be better. Most of those skeptics start their argument (it’s true) with the fact that they have never used Bondera, yet all seem to have a strong out-of-the-gate opinion.
Well, we’ve used it. We’ve lived with it for over a year and we can tell you: Bondera’s not kidding. It has worked for us from install through every day use.
Wall and Tile Adhesion
Most people hit the skepticism roadblock at adhesion: does it stick to the wall and does the tile stick to the Bondera? And will it remain stuck? All good questions.
For us and our backsplash, the answer on all counts is a resounding yes. Since Bondera is “pressure sensitive” we made sure we pressed on it to make a strong connection. We found the technique that worked the best and was the easiest was to “wipe it down” or what we call “burnish” it using a 6 inch drywall taping knife.
As for the tile itself, we used a highly irregular tile. It’s a stone actually, Stratstones, and the backs of these tiles are flat-ish but not evenly flat. Again, we wiped the tile into the Bondera (this time with a sponge float) and the tile has not fluctuated a millimeter. There are no loose tiles and no grout cracks—awesome. And, not that we need it too much in this application, but Bondera is highly water resistant, making it ideal for really wet service like a shower surround.
What’s more, during installation, we had no mortar squeeze-through as is often the case in setting smaller tiles in thinset. This alone saved half a day of wiping and toothbrushing mortar out of the tile gaps that always seems to manage a way out from behind the tile. Then, it was same-day grout, next day seal and good to go.
Long Story Short, Again
Bondera saved us time during the install and helped us deliver a fault-free finished product. It works.